Maintaining a balanced diet of healthy foods and the foods you love should be a lifelong resolution. But, as we age, our body’s needs start to change. Your metabolism slows down, your appetite may be reduced, and the levels of stomach acid can also reduce, inhibiting digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
But, still, seniors need just as many vitamins and minerals from the food they eat as anyone else. To help you or your loved one eat right through their senior years, here are some essential nutrition tips to follow.
Eat and drink regularly
This one might sound obvious but, as we get older, the signals of thirst and hunger that we usually feel become weaker. This is why it’s important to drink water regularly throughout the day even if you don’t feel thirsty, and to ensure you’re eating enough, too. Planning your meals for the day or week ahead will ensure you stick to a balanced eating regime and get all the energy and nutrients you need.
Eat lots of fresh fruit and veg
Since your metabolism slows down as you age and you may also be less physically active, you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. This means you need to eat less. But, at the same time, you still need to pack lots of essential vitamins and minerals into your diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of this. They provide you with lots of important nutrients while remaining low in calories.
Look after your bones
We naturally lose bone density as we age, which can lead to problems like osteoporosis. Calcium is essential to maintaining bone strength, and vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in your diet. So, these are two nutrients that you can’t ignore. Include plenty of dairy products in your diet or other non-dairy sources of calcium. As well as the sun being a source of vitamin D, there are lots of healthy foods with vitamin D to include in your diet.
Increase fiber intake
Our bodies become less effective at digesting food as we age. Eating lots of dietary fiber helps with your digestion and lowers the risks for a number of health conditions, including stroke and heart disease.
Healthy sources of nutrients
We don’t recommend cutting out a food group (like carbs) entirely. Instead look for healthy sources of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Avoid processed foods, choose whole grains for a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, include more non-meat sources of protein, and healthy fats from nuts, fatty fish, eggs, and other sources.
If you continue to eat right in your senior years and adapt your diet to your changing needs, you’ll benefit from a boosted immune system, higher energy levels, better mental acuity, greater bone strength, and much more.
For more senior health advice or support with caring for a senior loved one, contact Bermuda Village, providers of independent living and assisted living in Advance, NC.